Burning Bridges or: Options, Their Limits, and Their Possibilities

Posted on June 25, 2011


Simple and clean:

We gravitate to that which is the only option.

Missions are that: missions. There is no other option but to succeed.

Are we setting up the components of an existence that forces us to succeed?

Then we aren’t really going anywhere.

We may have a place to go, and we may act upon the little steps that will get us there… but…

What’s stopping us from… stopping?

Is it all really about having fun? Is it just about constructing an environment where our vision is the most enjoyable thing to work towards?

Or has all achievement been produced by cutting all the ropes, and burning all the old bridges?

Khatzumoto became fluent in Japanese. Not because of his methods, but because of the situation that dictated his methods:

Indeed, one thing that drove me to go all the way with Japanese was that I had to be ready to go to a technical career fair at the 18-month mark, where I would have job interviews in Japanese. Money had been paid, air tickets bought and a hotel room reserved, months in advance. Cash and face were on the line.

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill describes the story of an Edward C. Barnes, whose burning desire was to be accomplice to Thomas Edison:

“It is a remarkable illustration of the power of a DEFINITE DESIRE. Barnes won his goal, because he wanted to be a business associate of Mr. Edison, more than he wanted anything else. He created a plan by which to attain that purpose. But he BURNED ALL BRIDGES BEHIND HIM. He stood by his DESIRE until it became the dominating obsession of his life-and-finally, a fact.”

Hill would expound further, with more brevity:

“He left himself no possible way of retreat. He had to win or perish!”

And in explaining why:

“Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a BURNING DESIRE TO WIN, essential to success.”

As success is not limited to social and mental achievements, a Pavel Tsatsouline would recall the importance of Parkinson’s Law in Alexander Faleev’s development of his powerful muscle and strength development programs:

Focus on the lifts that matter is half of Faleev’s power and muscle equation. Regularly competing in sanctioned power meets is the other half. Faleev observes that with a powerlifting meet date looming on the calendar, many an athlete have accomplished more in six months than others have in many years.

And as he would continue saying, (the obvious) “You will be forced to focus on what matters…”, “…rather than [fooling] around with what former Coach Powerlifting Team USA Mark Reifkind calls “random acts of variety”.”

What if you set the time to become fluent in a language to 10 months? What about 3 months? 6 weeks?

Everything would fall into place. You’d have nothing but the important, most bang-for-your-buck decisions to make. As long as you’d have some sort of measure of fluency that you can aim for.

Cut some friends from your life. Block out all the negative detractors. Immerse yourself in the writings, the audio, the videos that represent everything for which you wish to stand for. Set up the kind of life someone like you would live if you became him or her today. Look for solutions. Quit your job, sell your house, buy those airplane tickets, do something; anything.

Set your dreams high in the stars…

but remember to burn the boat you came in on.

Posted in: Notebook